Police Warn Donors to Stay Away From Fake GoFundMe Campaigns for Slain Police Chief

Eric Disario Authorized GoFundMe

On Friday May 12, Kirkersville Police Chief Steven Eric Disario was shot and killed in the line of duty responding to a call of an active shooter at a local nursing home. Two others lost their lives before the gunman turned his weapon on himself and took his own life.

A GoFundMe campaign with a $100,000 goal quickly appeared:

Eric was my neighbor, friend and family. He was an amazing person who was always there to help. His life was taken on 05/12/2017 by someone who never even knew him in the line of duty. He is a father of 6 and was an amazing person to his wife and kids. He had step children that you wouldn’t have known because they were treated as his own. He truly was an amazing individual and will be missed. At the age of 36 and expecting another in a few weeks, life will go on but will be rough without him. We are asking for donations to help with his family. They too are strong and caring but in need of help at this time. Anything that can help. Please, thank you and God Bless.

Police warn this is the only authorized GoFundMe for the family.

A second campaign is still live [archived here]. Also seeking $100,000 it reads:

Steven Disario age 36 was gunned down while on duty May 12, 2017. He is survived by his wife and 6 children. His wife is currently carrying his 7th child. He was a member of the Kirkersville police department and had been acting chief for 3 weeks. Any support will go directly to his wife and children.

All donated money will be received in a check and taken directly to family to be signed over and deposited into their bank account.

Kirkersville police chief fake GoFundMe

The endorsement of Kikersville police for Scott Mettle’s campaign aside, you’ll note one important difference between the two campaigns.

The authorized campaign lists Aryn Disario as beneficiary, meaning only she can withdraw money from the campaign. Scott Mettle will never have access to it.

Kirkersville police chief GoFundMe

The unauthorized campaign, however, lists no beneficiary, meaning the campaign organizer can withdraw funds directly and asks that you simply trust him to deliver a check to the family. In addition, the campaign organizer isn’t even Facebook verified. Facebook verification isn’t the be-all-end-all of verifying GoFundMe campaigns, but it certainly adds an additional layer of transparency. That’s important when you’re asking strangers for $100k and to trust you to do the right thing with whatever is raised.

Kirkersville police chief fake GoFundMe

The organizer of the unauthorized campaign complains in an update that he is being harassed. You know what a simple solution would be? To close the account, or at least hand over control of it to Disario’s family.

Robert Fraley GoFundMe

Calm down, guy, it’s not that big of a deal. But a small piece of advice: if the cops are calling you fake and fraudulent, you might want to suck it up, admit you were in the wrong, and walk away. Just sayin.